Microsoft Project Resource types – what they are and when to use them

This article by Melanie Remen

Work Resource
People or equipment required in order to complete a task in a project. An IT project may require the skills of a developer, or a construction project may require a crane to get the job done. In both of these situations the resource would be set up as a Work resource type.
Material Resource
Consumables required in order to complete a task in a project. A telecommunications project may require 300m of telephone cable, or a software development project may require 6kgs (13lbs) of coffee to get the job done!
Cost Resource
Costs associated with a task. A road trip or piece of hardware may be required in order to complete a task. These costs can be recorded against a task as a cost resource. These are separate from costs which may be incurred from a material or work resource assigned to a task. Unlike material and work resource types, cost resource types do not have a cost table rate, they are thought of as just straightforward costs incurred to complete a task.
Budget Resource
A method of recording budget expenses anticipated throughout the entire life of the project. The project may be allocated a budget of $30,000 to spend on contractors, and $2000 to spend on travel over the entire life of the project. A budget resource enables this information to be recorded at the project level against the project summary task. (see pic below) The cost to engage the contractor is recorded by resource assignment to a task and will be reflected in the costs for that task. A budget resource can be assigned only to the project summary task. Project prohibits assigning a budget resource to a non-project summary task with an error message. Might be worth while prefixing budget resources with ‘budget or b’ to minimise likelihood of hurling profanities at this error message…
Note: The project summary task is not part of the default view, to show the project summary task in:
Project 2007
Tools -> Options -> View Tab -> Tick Show project summary task option
Project 2010
File -> Options -> Advanced -> Under Display options for this project, tick Show project summary task.

More about cost and budget resources

Generic Resource

A resource to assign to a task when resource availability is not yet known or decided. A project schedule estimate may need to reflect the resource requirements for 9 developers, and a project manager. A generic developer and a generic PM may be assigned to tasks regardless of whether not the resources are actually available. Later, when resourcing has been defined, the generic flag can be removed from the developer and PM resources to officially allocate the resource to the task.
Note: The resource sheet view highlights generic resources with an icon in the indicator column.
Enterprise Resource
These are ‘shared-resources’ amongst the entire organisation. If the organisation is using Project Server, these resources are available in a list for project managers to assign to their project tasks as required. The list of enterprise resources is generally managed by an administrator.
Non-enterprise Resource
These are ‘local-resources’ which are not available to share with other project managers in an organisation using Project Server.
Team Resource
Applies to Project Server, and allows teams of resources to be assigned to tasks. Team resources need to be set up by an administrator. Good to use if your projects always use the same group of resources to complete a particular task.

Posted byMelanie Remenat5:03 AM

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